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Smart City Infrastructures for Safeguarding Autonomous Vehicles Against Cyber Attacks

Central Virginia Node

Principal Investigator: 
Felix Lin, associate professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Virginia

Co-Principal Investigators: 
Peng Wei, assistant professor, mechanical and aerospace engineering, George Washington University; Lance Sherry, associate professor, systems engineering and operations, George Mason University

Project Description: 
This project is to mitigate public safety and security threats imposed by autonomous vehicles as they become victims of emerging cyber attacks; to do so, the project integrates two novel mechanisms: city-scale video analytics for victim detection and multiagent reinforcement planning for collision avoidance. At a high level, this project promotes a co-design of autonomous vehicles and smart-city infrastructures to identify the source of cyber attack and react to the compromised vehicle(s). This project will advance the knowledge of autonomous driving security, foster commercial adoption of autonomous vehicles, and train the Virginia workforce in security and smart transportation. The three principal investigators form a strong team with a unique research idea that fits the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative (CCI)’s priorities. (i) UVA, GMU and GWU are from two different CCI nodes: Northern Virginia (GMU and GWU) and Central Virginia (UVA). (ii) This proposal aims at the intersection of security, autonomous systems, and data, which is the focus of the CCI. (iii) This proposal covers both CCI nodes’ focus areas. Concretely, we address the Northern Virginia node’s research area of cybersecurity in transportation and the Central Virginia node’s research area of cyber physical systems, autonomous systems, IoT and their applications in Smart Cities.